Makabayan bloc’s no-show in Senate hearing waste of 'democratic space' - Esperon

Makabayan bloc’s no-show in Senate hearing waste of 'democratic space' - Esperon


National Security Adviser (NSA) Hermogenes Esperon, Jr., slammed the absence of the Makabayan bloc legislators in the Senate hearing which seeks to clarify the alleged red-tagging being done by the government.

Esperon calls the absence as a waste of "democratic space" allotted for the free exchange of ideas and opinions. 

He called the Makabayan bloc’s absence "unfortunate" as they missed their chance to air their side and face ranking members of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) regarding the issue.

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National Security Adviser (NSA) was referring to Presidential Communications Operations Office Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy and Southern Luzon Comand chief, Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr., both NTF-ELCAC spokespersons.

"They have an opportunity for a dialogue, to talk, Undersecretary Lorraine (Badoy) will have a chance to speak and so will Gen. Parlade. It is unfortunate that they (Makabayan bloc solons) choose not to attend," he said in Filipino.

Esperon, who is also NTF ELCAC vice chair, found the excuses of the Makabayan bloc for skipping the hearing quite flimsy as one of their members claimed to be visiting departed loved ones at the cemetery and while others claimed to going to Bicol to give relief goods to families affected by the Super Typhoon “Rolly”.

"We admire their intentions (in going to Bicol for a relief goods distribution) but we have information that they did not go there," Esperon said in Filipino.

With respect to the reason of going to the cemetery during the "Undas" holiday, Esperon said that this is impossible as all cemeteries in the country were closed from October 29 to November 4 as a preventive measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

"We are saddened that they did not attend as this is the 'democratic space' given to us to talk among ourselves, to exchange ideas and opinion, and to find out who among us is right," Esperon said.

And because of their absence, Esperon said he is already having suspicions that in a little while, the group will come out and admit who they really are, referring to the Bloc's reported alliance to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA).

Another reason could be that they cannot refute the statements of former NPA field commanders who would testify against them.

"You are always calling us fake news but you, you're not only fake news, you're (also) no show. Which is more difficult, no show or those willing to show up and present. Next time, we better see each other so that we can explain and enlighten our countrymen," he added.


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Report from PNA


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